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Norway DSO to Build, Modernize Substations

June 24, 2021
Framework agreement for construction and upgrade of substations in Southern Norway.

Norwegian distribution system operator Lyse Elnett and Siemens Energy signed a framework agreement to strengthen the Norwegian power grid. Under this agreement, Siemens Energy will provide services and transmission products for various substations in the Sør-Rogaland region in Southern Norway.

By constructing new substations and modernizing existing ones, Lyse Elnett not only rises to the challenges of increasing energy demand and the volatile feed-in of renewables, but the framework agreement also stipulates that Lyse Elnett can, over time, fulfill its objective of more environmentally friendly power transmission by eliminating fluorinated gases (F-gases) in its substations.

"Limiting the environmental impact of our operations without compromising on safety and reliability of power transmission is a top priority for us. When it comes to reducing the use of F-gases, we know that the alternatives from Siemens Energy have zero global warming potential. The agreement is an essential step on our pathway to a more environmentally friendly operation of our substations," said Evy Thorbjørnsen, project director at Lyse Elnett.

Norway is one of the global frontrunners in phasing out climate-harming F-gases in the power grid. In the past two years, Siemens Energy has received orders for more than 60 bays of F-gas-free gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) up to 145 kV from Norwegian grid operators. The centerpiece of the switchgear is a combination of clean air and vacuum interrupter technology. For decades, the vacuum interrupter units, which are sealed for life, have performed well in medium-voltage applications. Since 2010, Siemens Energy's vacuum interrupter technology is available for high-voltage switching applications and has reached almost six million hours of commercial operation.

"Driven by the same goal to transmit power efficiently at the highest levels of safety, while also helping to reduce the ecological impact of power transmission, our state-of-the-art transmission technologies will accompany Lyse Elnett on its pathway toward decarbonization," said Beatrix Natter, executive vice president transmission at Siemens Energy. "Redesigning switching technologies in substations and avoiding F-gases is key to making the transmission grid more sustainable."

Provided that the total agreement's scope of supply for a maximum runtime of eight years is called up, the agreement has a total volume of an estimated 200 million euros (US$242.4 million). The agreement covers design and construction of new substations as well as modifications and upgrades of existing substations, including the supply of transmission products and services. The largest and most important assignments will be the delivery of 145-kV GIS with associated protection and control systems.

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